Australia bars ‘world’s no.1 anti-vaxxer’ from entry

MONROE, Louisiana: Phlebotomist Elaine Matthews takes blood from JoAnna Farris, a freshman nursing major, during LifeShare Blood Centers Hurricane Harvey blood drive at ULM in Monroe, La, Wednesday. LifeShare Blood Centers collected donations that will go to restore dwindling supplies at blood banks in areas affected by the storm. — AP

SYDNEY: An American who describes himself as the “world’s #1 anti-vaxxer” has been barred from entering Australia, officials said yesterday, in a further crackdown on the antiimmunization movement after outbreaks of preventable diseases. Kent Heckenlively had outlined plans to travel to Australia in December as part of a “Dangerous Science” tour to promote his books and detail efforts to push for a five-year moratorium on childhood vaccines in the US. His proposed trip came amid efforts by Canberra to boost child vaccination rates, including a “no jab, no pay” law to block parents who refuse to vaccinate their offspring from accessing some government benefits.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Heckenlively, who wrote “I am the world’s #1 anti-vaxxer” in an online blog, would be blocked from the country. “Kent’s not got any travel plans to Australia because we’re not going to allow him to come here,” he told Sydney commercial radio station 2GB. “These people who are telling parents that their kids shouldn’t be vaccinated are dangerous people… it’s clear to me that it’s not in our national interest that he should come here.” — AFP

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